Leaving again eary morning around 10 we are doing the last bit of Iran towards the Turkmenistan border. Since we are fed up with cucumbers we do not have breakfast - a bad mistake as we will learn later.
Reaching the border we are sent force and back a couple of times to get the right papers with the right stamps before
we reach the main border building. A guy takes immediately care of our carnet- Later we see that he works close together
with the customs agent scanning the car. At the end we bribe 20 dollars to avoid having our car taken apart...
A bit later at the Turkmenistan side it starts quite well and an hour later we only have to wait for the lady from the bank to come back from lunch in
order to pay 115 dollars entrance fee (insurance, fuel taxes, processing fees, current date/time, temperature).
She comes back after almost another hour and we can pay immediately. Time to go back to the passport controll to get our final
stamp. Would be too easy. Power outage at the complete border building. Another two hours until somebody produces a can of engine oil for the aggregate.
After feeding it bit by bit they managed finally to get the machine started and power was back.
A bit frustrating that the guy stamping our passports does not even need light or a computer to do so...
And then the descent to Asgabat. Escaping the hills we enter a city with a impressive skyline. Massive buildings, beautiful
street decorations. You really can see the message "you can see how great we are" out of this environment.
Quite a hazzle to do all the stuff needed. Getting food, fuel, more food, something to drink - we are looking forwarad to the Door to hell party - and getting out of the city. Loosing about 2 hours, we are finally on the right road and decide to reach for the party. A fatal mistake.
In the pitch dark night, on a road with no markings, you only sense the edge of the roads by the slightly brighter shade
of the bushes from the headlight, I hit a major pothole. Result: 2 broken rims.
More time lost with changing tires we aproach the door to hell. Being picked up by a group of locals looking for tourists
to lead the to the gas crater, we find at least the junction, but when the tell us to lead us further for a "fee" of
40 dollars we rejected and decide to spend the night near a camp of other ralliers having a similar experience with the
local guys. These spent the night also close to us. Quite suspect... so we stay up quite long to see what they do
before we finally decide that they really only wait there to be the first ones next morning and not trying to rob the camp.